Free early learning and childcare for eligible two year olds

A selection of learning tools for young children are laid out on a table.

Published: Monday, 10th September 2018

Parents of eligible two year olds are being urged to make the most of the funded early learning and childcare that is available to them across the Borders.

Enrolment week 24-27 September

A special enrolment event is being held during the week of 24–27 September to give them the chance to enrol with a provider of their choice.

Anyone who wants to find out more should contact their:

  • school nursery
  • early learning and childcare provider
  • health visitor
  • job centre.

They will be able to answer any questions people might have, including explaining more about the eligibility criteria and what is available in each local area.

Places available to eligible parents and carers

The funded hours apply to children with parents or carers who receive:

  • Income Support, Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance, any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity/severe disablement allowances, , Pension Credit, Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit where the monthly earned income does not exceed £610
  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, and where income is less than £16,105
  • Both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit and where income is under £6,420.

Two year olds who are looked after by a local council, the subject of a kinship care or guardianship order are also eligible.

Once a child becomes entitled to the hours they will remain so even if their parent or carer becomes employed or the parent or carer’s situation changes.

Places available across the Borders

Places are provided in:

  • some school nursery classes
  • private day nurseries
  • playgroups
  • child-minders
  • through Council SBC’s own services or in conjunction with providers in the private or third sector.

Places are available now, then again in January and in April.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People

“Eligible two year olds and their parents or carers right across the Borders are continuing to experience the benefits of taking up their entitlement to funded early learning and childcare hours at their local provision.

“Not only are the children given the opportunity to develop their social, language and learning skills, but parents and carers are able to have some vital time to themselves for work, training or some other purpose.”

More information

  • More information and a list of providers is available online
  • Free early learning and childcare arrangements for eligible families were introduced nationally by the Scottish Government in October 2014 as part of The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.